Budgeting: There's an App for that

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Budget, budget, who’s got the budget? Not me, I’m afraid. A budget is one of those things I know I should have but just haven’t quite figured out. Luckily, there’s an app for that! Actually, there are a lot of apps for that and I decided to review the top three (according to iTunes ratings) to see which app fits my needs best, and might just fit yours too!

Daily Budget

As you might expect from the name, this is app calculates how much you can afford to spend in a day!

Pros: It has the highest rating on iTunes, a very attractive design, and is very user friendly. You put in your (monthly, bimonthly, weekly) income and follow that with your expenses. It has several pre-set categories of expense, but provides the option to add other categories if necessary.

It features a savings category, which can be calculated by a percentage or a dollar amount depending on your savings goals, and you can also build a savings plan for big purchases like vehicles or furniture. The app then subtracts your savings plan and expenses from your income and presents you with a daily dollar allowance. And when you add a transaction, it deducts that from your daily allowance.

Cons: Although the initial download was free, it costs extra to access all the features, which include analysis graphs, extra protection, ad block, and spreadsheet files. However the total cost for all these features is only $5.00 and they don’t seem critical to the apps general functions.

Mint: Money Manager

This was the app I was most excited to explore because the pictures on the app store are very appealing. I wasn’t able to explore at all. First you have to make an account, which isn’t a problem, but then you have to link it to a credit card account that is on their list. Because I go through a local credit union, I didn’t have an accepted card which rendered this app useless to me. I may try it later when I do have a credit card, though.

Goodbudget

Pros: Ever hear of the Envelope Budget? This app uses that metaphor to categorize the different expenses in your budget, and has a small bar under each envelope’s name to show how much money remains. There are a few pre-set envelopes but generally you create your own.

It also allows you to enter multiple streams of income, so if you work two jobs or have a side business you can keep those separate. It also has an envelope for savings.

I also really appreciate that this app lets you create a budget and try the app before it asks you to make an account. It also lets you access graphs which track spending by envelope and compare your income to your spending.

Cons: It took me forever to find the income adjust section, which is a pretty important budget feature. By and large this app is user friendly, but finding the income adjust was terrible, and I’m still not sure how to add money to envelopes after the initial fill (when you create your account), although it may refresh on a monthly basis.

My Pick?

Daily Budget. I like that it gives me a daily allowance of my extra (not bill allocated) money and it was very intuitive to use.

There were so many apps I didn’t look at, so if these three don’t seem to meet your needs, try a few others and let us know what works for you! If you don’t like ‘em, just delete the app from your phone.